Chapter 1: Leviathan's Fall
“My Lord Revan, a group of Jedi have infiltrated the flagship. Confirmed reports from levels 4, 5 and 6.”
“B-but my Lord?”
“Continue the attack. The Jedi intruders are not a priority.”
A moment passed before the Captain whimpered a meek apology. The coward, Revan thought, surveying the battle raging before her, he would abandon the battle in fear of puppets; how pathetic.
The tattered remnants of a Republic fleet lay strewn around her flagship like broken toys, fighters darting and diving between the debris that littered the horizon. Revan was no fool; she had known that this was a trap, a ploy by whatever remained of the Republic to take down the ascendant Dark Lord.
The arrogant fools. “Captain? Open a comm-link to the Republic fleet.”
“Commander Bastila, do you copy?”
“We hear you Admiral, what’s the matter?” Bastila turned to her team, searching them for any injuries or wounds. They had been fighting through the Dark Lord’s flagship for what seemed like hours now, and they had suffered heavy casualties. She was determined to not lose anyone else.
“We have an incoming transmission from the Sith flagship, patching it through.” Before she could object, a familiar voice rang out from her communicator.
“Greetings Republic! How are you all doing, good? Good. I’m doing pretty well myself actually, just dealing with a few pests.”, Bastila couldn’t help but bite back her disgust- good men and women had died, and the Sith was mocking them!
“Well, as I’m sure you’ve noticed by now, you’re losing. Quite badly, I might add. In fact,” A low rumble shook the ship for a moment, “you just lost another one of your cruisers. How many people are on one of those? I’d say about 20,000, but what do I know? Ooh, here’s an idea! After the rest of your ships are torn from the sky, we’ll comb through the wreckage and count the bodies! I think that be fun, don’t you?” Bastila tried to bury her mounting fury, but the Sith Lord’s taunting bore down deep into her, ingraining itself into her mind.
“Anyway, what did I want to say… ah yes, I have an ultimatum for you all. Now, you’re fighting a losing battle, any idiot can see that, and it’s only going to get worse for you if you keep this up, understood?” Another tremor rocked the floor, “Oof, poor sods. 10,000 more dead, and why? I’ll tell you why just turn to face your commanding officer. Go on, do it.” Bastila could feel the eyes of her team fix onto the back of her head, “They don’t give a damn about you. They’d quite happily sacrifice 30,000 of--,” the floor shook again, “50,000 of you to take down a handful of us. Now, think of the Jedi who lead you, who saunter around with noses in the air and eyes glazed over. During the Mandalorian Wars, they would have left the galaxy to burn if not for me, understand? And now they ask you, regular people of the Republic, to bleed and die for them, to take me down.”
A gruff Republic soldier murmured behind her, and Bastila felt something shift in the Force.
“So, here’s my offer to you all, if you’d be so kind as to listen. I will let every last one of you go, on one condition. One little condition, and you can go home to your friends and families with no fear of repercussion. All you have to do… is mutiny. You will rise against your leaders”, Bastila felt another shift in the force, “and you can all go free. That’s my offer to you all. Revan, out.” And just like that, the comm died.
Silence fell over the team as they carried on marching through the Flagship, Jedi and soldier alike tightening their grips on blasters and lightsabers alike as they eyed one another warily.
“Commander Bastila, come in! We have a situation!”
“Vice-Admiral? Where’s Admiral Bennet, what’s going on out there?”
Sounds of gunfire crackled over the comm-line as the embattled officer responded, “We have a serious mutiny on our hand's Commander- Revan must have done something to them!”
This… was not part of the plan, Bastila thought.
“... Revan, out.” With a flick of a switch, the comm link flickered out, and Revan turned to face a rattled-looking Captain.
“M-my Lord, you have an incoming call from Lord Malak.”
“Patch him through.”
Moments later, a hologram of her apprentice flickered into being before her. Even though he towered over her, Revan could feel the fear in him.
Good to see I left a mental mark as well as just a physical one, she mused, allowing herself a slight smile.
“Master, what did you just do?” For a moment, Revan thought she sensed a degree of awe in the man’s voice, but she disregarded it for the time being.
“Unlike you Malak, I do not rely on brute force and savagery to win my battles; I just swayed thousands of soldiers to my cause with a few words and a slight nudge of the Force. You would do well to learn from this, my apprentice.” She could feel the waves of hatred rolling off of him as she said those last words; the pure, undiluted emotion momentarily drowning out the surging darkness aboard the Republic cruisers.
“Indeed… my master.”
“Did you only contact me to ask for tips? I assume you have something important to bring to my attention?”
“You are correct, master. Observe,” Another hologram appeared next to Malak’s, showing a detailed readout of the Republic flagship, “Our intelligence suggests that the Jedi known as Bastila Shan was aboard this ship, but was dispatched a short while ago along with a full platoon of men. I believe--”
“That they’ve boarded my ship in an effort to kill me?”
Malak fell silent, eyes simmering with frustration, “Indeed, my master.”
“Do you think me a fool? I was aware of this from the moment we arrived in the system- I certainly do not need you to tell me the obvious, my young apprentice.”
Though silence was his only response, Revan could feel Malak’s gaze burning into the back of her head as she stalked back towards the observation windows.
“We should be coming up on the main elevator to the observation deck, Commander.” Bastila nodded in acknowledgement, but her mind was still fixed on the group of soldiers behind her. It had been only a few minutes since Revan’s communication had ended, but ever since then, the remainders of her platoon had been mumbling between one another, stealing dirty looks at the 6 Jedi who led them between hushed whispers.
Another tremor rocked the ship, the sounds of groaning metal and turbolaser fire being drowned out by the low rumble of a ruined capital ship disintegrating into the void. Bastila slipped and fell, the shaking floor proving too unstable for her, even despite her Jedi training…
And that was when the soldiers made their move.
Revan tutted, wheeling round to face the flickering likeness of Darth Malak, “You know what, that’s just like you, y’know? You’re a moron Malak, a moron who assumes too much but knows too little. And on top of that, you’re a brute! You know what’s at stake, what’s waiting to strike from dark space, yet you would burn and maim your way through the only force capable of stopping it,” throwing her hands up in exasperation, she stormed back over to the comm terminal, eyes burning a baleful yellow as she rounded on the flickering hologram, “the Sith Emperor is too great a threat, you know this! So why do you act like this is some sort of game?”
“You overestimate Vitiate, he will--”
“He will wipe the stars clean!” Revan’s usual calm shattered, her eyes wild as the Force screamed around her, “You short-sighted fool, you would play at Soldiers whilst the galaxy burns!”
The crack of a blaster rifle echoed through the empty corridor, and with it, the wet thud of a Jedi’s body falling to the floor whipped the remaining Knights into action. Lightsabers ignited as Bastila steadied herself, letting the sharp yellow glow of her blade fill her vision for a moment before dashing forwards, sabre staff spinning as she screamed in defiance.
“You’re the fool Revan. The Sith Emperor is a phantom; he poses no threat to the rest of the galaxy. You throw away our chance at revenge against the Jedi to live out your own fantasies of ruling the Republic! You’re as bad as those we fight against.” Malak’s voice was strained, his vocabulator struggling with the sheer force behind the giant’s words, “My new Empire needs a true leader, not a silver-tongued serpent like you!”
“You’re new Empire?!” Revan screamed, her eyes blazing as the very floor she stood on began to crack and smoulder, “You’re a foolish cur Malak, and it’s time I brought you to heel.” Revan punched a button on the console, and the image of her traitorous apprentice faded away.
“Captain, raise port-side deflector shields and fire on the Leviathan!”
Bastila span forwards, sweeping the legs out from under a gruff-looking soldier with a swift kick. Feeling the Force running through her veins, she eyed her next target, reaching out to him with arm outstretched. She pulled the hapless soldier towards her, drawing him onto her blade with one swift movement, muttering an apology into the dying man’s ear as she dropped his body to the floor. Bastila felt a presence behind her and wheeled around just in time to block the incoming vibroblade with her sabre.
Kicking her new attacker in the shin, she lashed out with her blade, trying her best to disarm the man instead of killing him; enough blood had been shed today without her adding Republic names to her kill list.The soldier seemed undeterred, however, as he rained down attack after attack, blade crackling with energy as it locked with the brilliant yellow beam of the Padawan’s weapon.
Gritting her teeth, Bastila drew upon the Force once more, lifting the man above her head. Ignoring the fight around her, she focused all her attention on the young soldier she had at her mercy.
Looking him in the eyes, she expected to see only anger and hatred, the emotions of one who had been poisoned by the words of the Sith. But instead, she saw the eyes of a young boy, filled with nought but fear and remorse.
The eyes of a child.
“You heard me! The Leviathan, now!”
“My Lord, we cannot j--” There was a sharp crack as the Captain collided with the ceiling; he was dead before he hit the floor.
Revan turned to face a terrified-looking crew, yellow eyes searching for…
“You there! Congratulations on the promotion! Now… FIRE ON THE LEVIATHAN!”
Bastila lowered the boy to the ground as the last of the rebel soldiers fell to her Jedi entourage.
“How old are you, child?” she asked, clipping her lightsaber to her belt.
“Fourteen miss, though I swear I fight like someone twice my age, I swear!”
“I don’t doubt that, Mister…?”
“Karah. Lud Karah. At your service Commander.” The boy gave a mocking bow to the young Jedi, brow locked in a loose scowl as his eyes shifted from her to the remaining Jedi. “You lot are all Jedi, right? A fat lot of good you lot have done, by the way, what with,” Lud gestured around them, “everything going wrong in the galaxy.”
Bastila rolled her eyes. She couldn’t afford to have this child ruin their mission. Turning to face her fellow Jedi, her face fell, “Are they…?”
“Dead. There are only the three of us now Bastila. Should we turn back?”
“No, we have a mission. The elevator isn’t far now, we can still do this.”
Picking up a blaster rifle, Lud started walking down the corridor, “Come on then Jedi, we’ve got a Sith Lord to kill!”
“My child,” one of the other Jedi spoke up, “Lud, was it? Aena Maskar, a pleasure to meet you,” she paused, perhaps expecting a response from the boy. When he offered no reply, the Jedi continued, “Beyond that elevator lies a terribly powerful Sith, are you sure you want to come with us?”
“No offence meant Master Jedi, but your lot aren’t exactly well-known for getting shit done. I’m going, whether you like it or not…”
Revan stilled herself. Reaching out with the Force, she searched for the Jedi interlopers. Reaching past the background noise of the battle, and then past the stifling darkness of Malak and herself, she found them. Dim, almost entirely snuffed out by the darkness, but light nonetheless, rising to meet her. By her best guess, they were just a few minutes away.
“Yes my Lord?”
“Take the bridge crew and leave. The Jedi are almost here, and I fear that you may be caught in what is to come.”
“Very good my Lord, you have my thanks.” Revan could feel the barely contained joy beneath the woman’s words; the appreciation of this simple officer glowing in the roiling darkness of Revan’s own aura. But beneath the light, she could feel something else…
“Oh, and Captain?”
The woman turned to face the Sith, a look of fear flashing in her eyes, “Y-yes my Lord?”
“It’s a girl, due in about 4 months. She’s strong with the Force, I can feel it,” Feeling the woman’s joy, Revan continued, “I wish you luck, Mrs…?”
“Miss Organa, and thank you, Lady Revan. Your kindness knows no bounds.”
“Yeah, well don’t tell anybody. Now, go.”
As she watched the doors to the elevator slide shut, Revan allowed herself a rare smile. Retreating back to the head of the bridge, she watched as the myriad batteries of her ship hammered down on the Leviathan, explosions rippling across the cruisers surface as the battle against the Republic waged on.
Revan sighed. This war against the Republic had been raging for close to two years now, millions of lives being snuffed out in the savage conflict. A necessary evil, she reminded herself, her mind awash with images of carnage.
But is anything really worth this? You turned to the Dark Side, slaughtered those who once trusted and respected you. You’re a monster, a butcher.
Revan stared at the glass of the observation deck. Darkened eyes stared back, yellow irises boring deep into the Sith’s being as the first tears began to roll down her tortured flesh. The corruption of the Dark was spreading across her face, slowly but surely destroying all that remained of the Jedi she used to be, replacing her face with the twisted mask of the Sith.
She still remembered the husks of ancient Sith Lords she had seen on Dromund Kaas, their twisted and deformed flesh brimming with hatred and fury as livid eyes stared out in mocking indignation. Was that her destiny, to end up like the embittered Lords of old?
“No,” Revan spat, tasting the rising bile in her throat, “I am greater than all of them, and I will not be burdened with their failures!” Lashing out with the Force like a whip, the Dark Lord pulled a passing Republic fighter from its path like a toy. With a scream of defiance, she threw the ship out into the void, laughing as she watched it collide with a Sith fighter in a fiery explosion.
The elevator doors slid open with a laboured groan, and the remaining Jedi strode out onto the Observation Deck. At the end of the central walkway stood a laughing figure, facing away from the intruders as it watched the raging battle.
Bastila resisted the urge to lash out at the Sith Lord, instead gesturing to her Jedi brethren to advance. They nodded back, igniting their lightsabers as the flagship rocked once again. Lud hung back, a look of fear playing across his features as he spotted their target.
“What a shame, another 20,000 lost,” the figure drawled, voice dripping with sarcasm, “how many more will you let die for you, Jedi?” With a bitter laugh, Revan turned to face her would-be assassins.
The young Padawan took in the Dark Lord. She may be scarred and corrupted by the Dark Side, but there was still a certain elegance in the Sith’s face, an echo of the once beautiful Jedi Knight who had led the Republic against the Mandalorians all those years ago.
Sensing the thoughts of the young Jedi, Revan gave a wry smirk, “I apologise Padawan Shan, am I distracting you?” Appearing to enjoy the sight of the squirming girl, Revan continued, “I must admit, I wasn’t expecting the Jedi strike force to be led by one so… young. I assume the Masters are too busy getting their rocks off to their ‘Sacred Texts’, correct?”
“Hold your tongue, you vile woman!” Bastila spat, feeling her embarrassment being overtaken with righteous fury, “We’re here to bring you to justice, Darth Revan, so I suggest you surren--”
She had been expecting anger, perhaps remorse, but laughter? “Oh Jedi, do you really think I’m going to surrender to you?” With a flick of her hand, Revan lifted the three Jedi off the ground, “You are like children compared to me, in fact…” she turned her gaze to Bastila once again, her lips curling into a mocking smile, “well, need I say more?”
Pulling them over to the main window, the Sith laughed again, “Oops, there goes another cruiser! About 15,000 crew on one of those, if I recall correctly. That’s at least 100,000 Republic lives lost so far, such a waste…” Bastila struggled against the woman’s power, desperately reaching out with the Force to throw the Sith off balance, but to no avail.
Revan tightened her grip on the Padawan, revelling in the waves of pain and hatred rolling off of her, “Young Bastila, you surprise me; so much anger for one so steadfast in her belief in the Jedi. You’d make a powerful Jedi Knight, but…,” she pulled Bastila closer until they were but a few inches apart, “you’d make a better apprentice. Oh yes, you tell yourself that the Dark is evil, that I am evil, but I feel your conflict! Look upon your fellow Jedi,” Bastila spun around violently, facing the remainder of her team, “They shackle you for your power, but I would set you free!”
“You put too much faith in your power of speech Revan. I will never work with you!” The older woman sighed, looking back out over the battlefield with a scowl.
“Then you shall die a slave,” the Dark Lord ignited her lightsaber, it’s sickly crimson glow casting strange shadows across the cold metal floor, “a pity really, but what can you do?”
Raising the blade to Bastila’s neck, Revan felt something shift in the Force. A tiny, ripple coming from…
The crack of blaster fire erupted on the bridge as a young boy opened fire on the Sith Lord. The three Jedi were thrown away, dropping to the ground like discarded dolls as Revan shifted her attention to the upstart soldier.
Swiping across her body with her blade, the Dark Lord deflected what would have been a lethal shot, sending it careening back towards the soldier as he scrambled for cover. Reaching out with the Force, Revan levitated the boy, bringing him fully into view as his rifle buckled and broke under her attention.
“Brave, but foolish,” Revan admonished, her voice sharp as she pulled the boy ever closer, “you would have made a fine General, boy. Oh well, maybe in another life…” With a savage motion of her hand, the boy flew towards the Dark Lord, body going limp as he collided first with the ceiling, then with the floor, before his bruised and bloodied form came to rest on the Sith’s extended blade.
“You see this Jedi! Another life wasted, and for what?” She watched the boy’s body crumple to the floor, a look of carnal joy playing on her features, “You will never understand why I did all this, you are incapable of understanding the magnitude of the situation!” The woman’s voice was becoming frenzied, eyes flaring almost crimson as she glowered at the recovering Jedi.
“This ends now Revan,” Bastila spat, igniting her lightsaber as her companions did the same, “The reign of the Sith will end before it ever started!”
“End? No, I’ve barely started!” Revan pulled a second lightsaber from her belt, her original violet blade spinning as the Dark Lord prepared for battle.
One of Bastila’s companions made the first move; green lightsaber roaring like a thousand stars, the man threw himself at the Dark Lord, a powerful backhand aimed at Revan’s side. She deftly blocked it, elbowing the man in the face before throwing him back with the Force. He collided with the far wall with a sickening thud, the sound of cracking bones echoing across the bridge.
Bastila span forwards, aiming her blade at the Dark Lord’s leg as she let out a bloodcurdling scream. Revan countered with her own dual blades, roaring in defiance as yellow met purple and red. Their blades sparked and screamed, the sound of clashing lightsabers drowning out the sounds of the ongoing space battle.
“You are strong Bastila,” Revan cooed, her voice laced with poison as she pushed down hard on the Padawan’s blade, “but not strong enough, perhaps you should reconsider my offer?”
Bastila swore as she broke off the stalemate, double-bladed lightsaber twirling as it absorbed a sudden barrage of Force lightning. Aena charged forward, purple blade connecting with the Sith’s own blade as she lay down a flurry of attacks. But Revan parried each one effortlessly, bobbing and weaving between any attack she couldn’t turn against the frenzied Jedi.
“And you dare call yourselves Jedi,” Revan snarled, embracing every emotion she could,”You’re the best the Order have? This is insulting!” Revan slashed upwards with both her blades, slicing the hapless Jedi’s lightsaber in half. The woman fell to the floor, clutching at the stump where her hand used to be, wailing and screaming as the Sith wound up for the killing blow.
As the crimson blade embedded itself in the woman’s form, Bastila seized her opportunity. Throwing herself towards the Sith, she collided with the older woman, causing Revan to skid back slightly from the impact. Following through on the strike, Bastila span round, using the end of her weapon to slice at the Dark Lord herself. Revan barely had time to dodge the attack, grimacing as the yellow blade nicked against her skin.
Filling the pain and rage mixing in her blood, Revan scowled at the young Jedi, darting back from Bastila with a sickening chuckle. Flourishing her blades, the Sith paced back and forth, re-evaluating her opponent.
“Give it up Revan, the Sith will never return!” Bastila was desperate; she knew she couldn’t hope to win against the Sith Lord.
“Do you really believe that my dear Bastila? Look inside yourself, even I can feel your rage, your fury. You are already a better Sith than you are a Jedi, and that frightens you!”
“Cease this nonsense Revan! I will never turn to the Dark Side!” Bastila’s voice cracked, her walls straining against the Sith’s barrage of words, “Look at yourself! You have let your own lust for power warp and change you until, now,” she stopped to take a breathe, feeling her emotions beginning to brim over, “until now, you have become the very thing you swore to destroy, and that frightens you!”
With a furious scream, Revan lunged at Bastila, lightsabers spinning and twirling as they swung towards the Jedi. In turn, Bastila struck at the encroaching Sith with her own weapon, and the bridge was once again filled with the shrieks of clashing lightsabers.
“Scum! You’re a slave, yet you dare tell me that I am the one who needs to be freed?! I take back what I said, you truly are a Jedi- arrogant and blind to the end!” Calling upon the Force, the tips of Revan’s fingers began to crackle and burn. With a roar of defiance, she pushed the Jedi away from her with a flick of her wrist before sending a burst of force lightning towards her opponent. Bastila barely brought her blade up in time to block the torrent of electricity; she was beginning to tire, and against Revan, she knew her time was running out.
As the last of the lightning fizzled away, the bridge rocked again, the sound of screeching metal and shattering glass overwhelming her senses. As the noise too died away, Bastila looked around for the Sith.
What remained of Darth Revan lay a few feet away, the air around her seeming to darken and burn as furious crimson eyes locked onto her. The Sith’s lightsabers had begun to spark and splutter, raw plasma blades becoming increasingly unstable as molten metal from their gold-lined casings began to drip to the ground. Her hair was alight, the foul-smelling smoke mingling with the odour of ozone as Revan let out an ear-piercing shriek, her voice tearing and scraping as the bridge shook again.
“FUCKING JEDI SCUM! WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?!” The pure hatred behind Revan’s words made Bastila recoil slightly, the hellish image before her leaving her almost speechless.
“I-I didn’t do anything!”
“MALAK, I’LL GUT THE SNIVELLING BANTHA!” Despite her common sense telling her otherwise, something compelled the Jedi to go to the fallen warrior’s side and, with a sharp sigh, Bastila crouched down by Revan.
Her injuries had seemed severe from afar, but up close they were far worse. Revan’s legs had been broken in multiple places, the left-hand side of her chest had caved in and her left arm had been blown clean off. Worst still, a large part of Revan’s face had been shorn away, leaving only hints of shattered bone showing through as her collapsed eye socket leaked ichorous blood. Bastila could scarcely believe that the Sith was still alive; her wounds would have been instantly fatal for any normal human.
She’s not a normal human, she’s a Sith Lord! Leave her, Bastila! She said to herself, feeling the bridge begin to buckle and collapse around her, She’s not worth saving, much less dying for! It would be so easy to kill her here and retreat with the rest of the Republic. Yes, you would be hailed as a hero!
Bastila rose to her feet, igniting her lightsaber as she placed the blade on Revan’s neck, eyes searching the dying Sith’s single remaining eye for any sign of remorse. Instead, she saw only hatred and anger staring back, silently daring her to lash out.
To strike down a defenceless woman.
Bastila crouched back down, quivering hands raised over Revan’s chest as the Sith began to scream, “GET BACK FROM ME JEDI, WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!”
“I’m saving your life Revan, now please just shut up!” Closing her eyes, Bastila felt the flickering flame of the Sith’s energy just beneath her hands, it’s lukewarm heat still carrying a hint of its past ferocity. Feeling the Force around her, she poured it into Revan’s twisted and battered form, feeling the echoes of life returning to the Sith.
“Wh-what… have… y-you… what have you done?”
“Like it or not Revan, you’re dying. If you want to stand any chance of living, you’re going to have to come with me!” The bridge was dangerously close to collapsing, Bastila could feel the metal beginning to crack and splinter around her.
“And… become… prison… Jedi?” Revan’s voice, once so strong and charismatic, was fading fast, her words becoming little more than whispers. “N… ne… never again…” and with that, the Sith’s head rolled back. Muttering a quiet curse to whoever had put her in this position, Bastila heaved the broken body of the Sith over her shoulder, making sure to pick up the melted remains of the Sith’s lightsabers as she trudged back to the elevator.
Chapter 2: Reparation
Master Vrook has only just woken up, but he already knows that today'll be more than he can handle
what? no this fic isn't dead, why do you ask?
i see you there Serdancos
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Master Vrook was at a loss for words. In the few hours he'd been awake, he had already been bombarded with scattered reports from Republic ships and wandering Jedi alike- something big had happened. Descending the stairs that led deeper into the Dantooine Jedi Enclave, he began to flick through some of the latest news on his holopad.
'At least 150,000 Republic soldiers reported dead after crippling defeat'
'The Death of the Revanchist: Sith leadership reported to be in chaos'
'Republic Fleet shattered during botched Jedi plan: Temple surrounded by riots'
'Assassination or Murder? Hero of the Mandalorian Wars betrayed by the Republic she saved!'
Was it possible? Could Revan really be... dead? Rounding a corner towards the council chamber, Vrook couldn't help but feel a numb sense of relief. He had had his doubts about the efficacy of the ragtag strike team the Jedi and Republic had been able to throw together in preparation for the attack after all. Indeed, he had cautioned young Bastila that the mission was unlikely to succeed in its primary objective. But here he was, reading news of the Sith Lords death after being so doubtful.
'Ah, Bastila,' Vrook thought, his mind wandering as he passed a small group of muttering Padawans. 'So young and with so much still to learn... I am sorry to have doubted you.'
In a sudden flash of recollection, Vrook found himself carried back into the past. He remembered arguing against the Council's decision to send the young girl to the front lines- as powerful as her battle meditation was, Vrook could not condone sending a flighty, incompletely trained Padawan to fight against fallen Jedi. He could remember the tearful look on the girls face after she had slain a Jedi she once knew. The horrors of this war had spared no-one, not even a young student of the Force.
Vrook snapped back to reality as he entered the cool, filtered air of the main council room. Across from him stood the diminutive form of Mastar Vandar. In one small hand he clutched a holopad, using his other to trace the lines of text on the screen. Vrook had never been great with emotions, but even he could see that his colleague's face was lined with great sadness.
"Good morning Master Vandar, I assume you heard the good news?"
The small green form barely responded, merely waving a three-clawed hand in Vrook's general direction with a half-hearted murmur before returning to reading.
"With Revan dead, it shouldn't be too long before the rest of the Sith forces begin to splinter," Vrook stalked over to his friend's side, sitting down beside Vandar as he took a moment to collect his thoughts. "She was the charismatic leader that held the Sith together. With her dead, the others will begin fighting for power amongst themselv-"
With a slight sigh, Vandar placed his holopad down between the two men, cutting off the Jedi's train of thought as he gestured for him to read the text on the screen. Hesitantly, Vrook reached over and picked up the slightly-smaller-than-average holopad.
On the flickering screen- just below the Republic Navy's header- was a report from a... Vice-Admiral Harris?
Perhaps sensing his thoughts, Vandar explained, "Sadly, Admiral Bennet was killed during the battle. Harris was his second-in-command."
"A great shame, he was a gifted man..."
Growing concerned, Vrook continued. The next few lines were the usually formalities that Republic officers adhered to when addressing the Order; the typical 'thanks for standing by us' that both sides found so tiresome. What came next was far more interesting however...
The battle began as planned- we leaked falsified documents to the Sith detailing that a mostly defenceless Jedi convoy would be passing through the Eidera system. As predicted, both the Ascendant and Leviathan arrived in the system, along with a handful of other Interdictor-class cruisers.
Our main strike force (led by your own Padawan Bastila Shan) moved in according to plan, boarding the Ascendant whilst the rest of the Republic fleet drew the Sith fighter escorts away. In total, the Republic fleet consisted of 8 battlecruisers, 18 Praetorian-class frigates and 6 battleships, which made up a sizable portion of what remained of the Navy.
Once we lost the element of surprise however, our forces began taking heavy losses. The Sith cruisers possess weaponry far beyond anything our fleet has at the moment, and our shields were struggling to take more than a few direct hits. The strike team were also suffering heavy casualties- sitreps from Commander Shan detailed labyrinthine corridors and stiff resistance from both Sith troopers and fallen Jedi alike.
After approximately one hour, we received a transmission from the Ascendant. Though we have no way to know for certain, voice prints suggest that Revan herself was the one who communicated with us. Following the close of this channel, multiple ship crews (including my own) mutinied against commanding officers and Jedi alike. The resultant confusion caused the vast majority of our fleet to be destroyed (very roughly, we lost a total 80% of the fleet over the course of the engagement).
Not long after this, the Ascendant began firing upon the Leviathan. We have no possible explanation for this currently, however the few surviving Jedi reported 'sensing a great swell of darkness' shortly before this. We trust in your wisdom on this matter.
After approximately 20 minutes, the bridge of the Ascendant suffered a direct hit from the Leviathan, which then jumped to hyperspace along with half of the remaining Sith fleet. What remained of the Sith were quickly routed, leaving only the gutted Ascendant behind. Reconnaisance and recovery of the capital ship has begun, but its size and unfamiliar design will likely mean that any search or rescue operations are unlikely to find any survivors.
Upon inspecting what little remains of the bridge, we found the bodies of two Jedi and a Republic soldier (the remains of the Jedi- though unidentifiable from our records- will be sent to the Jedi Temple on Coruscant). Amongst the wreckage, we also found scattered remains of a human female. Although a complete body is yet to be found, we are confident that these are all that's left of Darth Revan. The Republic retains custody over these remains until they are completed, at which point a mixed council of Jedi and Republic officials will decide on the body's fate.
No remains of Commandar Bastila Shan have been found as of yet, though the Republic Navy will ensure that the surroundings are fully searched. We offer our condolences to the Jedi Order in this time.
"That's..." Vrook was speechless for the second time that morning. He let the holopad drop to the floor with a clatter as he tried to centre himself.
A moment passed. Then a few more. After what seemed like an eternity, it was Vandar who broke the silence, "I sense your grief my friend, just as I sense the sadness in my own heart. The deaths of so many is a great loss, but they did not die in vain. Through their bravery, the darkness of the Sith in the Force has been weakened."
"I suppose so." Vrook reached out with the Force, feeling for the clouds that bordered the edges of his own mind. Where there had once been only brimming thunderstorms of rage and despair, now patches of quiet tranquility existed. The storms persisted still however, leashed and subdued like a bound beast. "The dark side is weaker, but still present."
"Darth Malak yet lives, as do a great many fallen Jedi," Vandar muttered, massaging his temples as he made to stand up, "Until these circumstances change, we are still at war."
Vrook felt his heart sink slightly at those words- what little of his younger, more naïve self still remained had still been holding onto a faint hope that the death of Revan would result in the end of the war. It would seem that he was mistaken.
"I feel your disappointment Vrook, and I can empathise. However, as you said, the death of Revan will likely cause splintering in what has been (up until now) a unified Sith front."
"True enough. Revan's deat-"
Just then, an almighty crash echoed through the room, following by the sound of screeching metal and screaming.
"Masters!" voice echoed from the opposite side of the room. In the doorway stood a young-looking Cathar padawan, who appeared to cower from sight as Vrook looked over.
"Padawan Juhani, what's going on?" Vandar said, rising to his feet as he began to make his way over to the girl.
"The landing pads! There was a... a big... they asked for you!"
Vrook rose to his feet, gesturing to the girl for silence, "Please calm down. Who asked for us?"
Juhani closed her eyes for a moment, pausing to centre herself. When she finally opened her eyes again, she whispered one word: "Bastila."
Vrook ran out through the courtyard, cloak billowing behind him as he sprinted towards the landing bay. In front of him, he could see groups of Padawans and lone Knights alike beginning to run towards a rising plume of smoke. As he rounded the corner and ascended the flight of stairs, he saw the cause of all the commotion.
In the centre of the landing bay, surrounded by a growing crowd of people, lay the smoking remains of a Sith shuttle. A faint heat haze visibly simmered just above the soot-covered fuselage of the crashed vehicle, and even from a distance Vrook could hear the last whines of its gutted engines.
Perhaps more conspicuously however was the individual who even now was standing atop the vehicle, gesticulating widely and yelling at people to...
"Stay back! Everyone please just... oh Force just stay away! Could someone please get Master Vandar?! Or Vrook, or ev-"
"Padawan Bastila!" Vrook called out, now only about 10 feet from the shuttle.
The relief on the girl's face was visible as she located both Vrook and Vandar making their way towards her, "Masters! I'd be very appreciative if you could get this crowd to vacate the area immediately!"
Vrook opened his mouth to query the padawan's motives, but before he could even say anything, he sensed something. Just beneath the surface of Bastila's words, Vrook could feel... something. He looked across to Master Vandar, searching for an explanation on his face. But the diminuitive master's face betrayed nothing as he began to order the more senior Jedi to escort the gathering crowd out from the landing bay.
Turning back to the shuttle, Vrook gestured for Bastila to come down. With a nervous glance across the now mostly empty landing bay, she quickly nodded, gesturing for both masters to follow her as she tentatively returned to ground level.
Now at an equal elevation, Vrook glanced over the girl. Her robes were scorched and blackened, with open cuts and burns staining the fabric a dark crimson in places. Her hands in particular were particularly bloody, dripping thick drops of partially-coagulated blood as she walked.
"Bastila, I think it's best if you get to the medbay, you look-"
"With all due respect Master Vrook, I am quite alright," before either master could call her out on her tone, Bastila continued, "However, I would like to request that a kolto tank is prepared for immediate use."
"For whom?" Vandar asked. They had now reached the shuttle bay doors, which had been bent and buckled nearly beyond use. As Bastila began to reach for the door controls, she hesitated.
"Masters, before you go inside, I have something to ask of you..."
Vandar was the first to respond, "Of course Bastila, you have done us all a great surface in killing Revan, we'd b-"
Bastila held up a hand to stop Vandar, an action that- Vrook noted- was uncharacteristic for her. "Forgive me, but I must implore you to remain open-minded."
The two masters exchanged looks of concern and curiosity before, after what seemed like an eternity, they both nodded their assent. Relieved, Bastila turned back to the door controls. To their surprise, the doors slid open without too much issue revealing...
"Force, what is that smell?" Vrook spluttered. The pungent air of the shuttle's interior leaked out nauseatingly slowly, leaving behind a smell that could be best described as-
"Burnt flesh?" Bastila asked. Vrook nodded between fits of coughing, much to the amusement of the seemingly unphased Vandar. "I apologise, I must have been too distracted to notice the smell."
Once the elderly master had recovered, Bastila led them further into the smoky cabin. The shuttle was far bigger than it had first appeared from the outside, with a long central corridor branching off into about 5 separate rooms. The first few were wrecked beyond recognition, with the contents of storage units spilled across piles of smashed furniture.
Bastila, now visibly shaking, came to a stop outside of the fifth room. Looking back over the two masters, she took a deep breath, opened the door and stepped inside.
The room was almost completely pitch-black, with what little light there was seemingly being swallowed whole by the oppressive shadows. Instinctively, Vrook reached for his holstered lightsabrer to light up the room.
Bastila grabbed his arm with frightening speed, holding it in place as she vigorously shook her head, her face twisted into a look of genuine fear.
"That would not be a good idea, our guest would definitely not react well to that."
"Guest? Bastila Shan what have you d- oh." As Vrook was talking, Bastila reached over to the light controls in the corner, flicking the overhead lighting on.
There, sprawled across an operating table lay a charred and broken body. Dark robes and bronzed armour alike had fused with the burnt skin beneath, exposing a patchwork of melted skin and vivid red gashes. The figures torso had caved in on one side, shards of blackened bone jutting out from tortured flesh and scorched viscera. One arm was missing, with only a cauterized stump remaining.
None of this could compare to the nightmarish state of the face. Pale, ashen skin gave way to a heavily hooded eye socket, an aged scar tracing the distinctively female cheekbone down past emaciated, grimy cheeks to a thin-lipped mouth. The woman's hair- which appeared to have once been long and white- had been badly burnt, reduced to patchy clumps of charred hair fusing with half-melted skin. The other side of her face was almost completely gone, with burnt skin giving way to torn muscle and exposed bone. Any eye that may have once been there had been torn out, clearly evidenced by the shredded skin around the empty, wrecked eye socket.
Clutched in the woman's remaining hand were two slightly curved metal tubes. The black chrome of the metal had melted into slag, in places fusing with bloody, destroyed skin. The few flecks of gold that remained on the items evidenced the now completely melted golden casings.
What seemed like an eternity passed as the two men absorbed what they were seeing. Both of their faces were contorted into masks of horror, clearly unused to seeing this side of war up close. Vrook ran from the room, hand over his mouth as he turned green. The sound of his vomit hitting the metal floor of the shuttle was enough to make even Bastila grimace slightly.
Finally, Vandar spoke up, his voice meeker than usual, "Who... who is this?"
Bastila gave no response, her face carrying a look of both discomfort and fear.
"Padawan Bastila, who is this?" He repeated, his voice much sterner this time.
"Master, I think you know already."
Vrook came back into the room, far paler than before, "Who is that, Shan?"
Clearly uncomfortable with her current situation, Bastila squirmed slightly before gesturing at the prone figure. "This... this is Darth Revan. What's left of her anyway..."
There's only... warmth.
Where am I?
I can't move, where am I?!
"Ow..." Darth Revan spat as she slowly came to. What had she been dreaming about? Someth-
"Where am I?"
White room. Light's above me, so I'm probably lying on my back. I can't see either wall, so I'm in the middle of the room. That means I've been put here for the explicit purpose of being here, as opposed to just being thrown in anywhere. How far up is the ceiling? … Depth perception's gone. Can I blink? … My left eye's not there. Okay, that's not a good sign. Legs are fastened to the table, as is my neck. My arms? I can't feel my left arm- again, not a good sign. My right arm... is restrained, but not by the same kind of strap as my legs. That means they're probably restricting my use of the force- new technology, not Sith . That means two things: one, whoever's keeping me here knows I'm force sensitive; and two, whoever's keeping me restrained is linked to the Republic.
Revan paused her train of thought for a second. The pain she felt was... excruciating, to say the least.
Right, left leg and eye are gone, and half my face feels numb. That's really not a good sign. What's the last thing we remember... ah. Ah. Oh, that's... unexpected?
Just then, the sound of a door sliding open caught Revan's attention. The footsteps were evenly spaced apart, with virtually identical, soft sounds marking each footfall.
Soft means softer shoe soles, which are favoured by... ah. Revan attempted to smirk slightly, before a sharp sting of pain made her grit her teeth into an animalistic sneer.
"Bastila dear, come to check on your prisoner?"
The footfalls faltered slightly- guess that confirms my suspicions, oh well- before returning to their original tempo.
"You're awake far earlier than we anticipated, Darth Revan." Bastila's clear-cut words, although portraying confidence, held a layer of bubbling fear just beneath the surface.
"Well y'know, 'the Dark side is a pathway to many unnatural abilities', right?" Ooh, Revan could almost feel the spiteful look Bastila was giving her.
A few moments of silence passed.
"Padawan Shan, why am I lying in a Republic medbay?"
Clearly caught off guard, Revan couldn't help but chuckle slightly as Bastila tripped over her words, "I- You were... How... I..."
"No please, take your time. I'm quite literally not going anywhere."
"You were in a critical condition. I stabilised you with the Force before putting you onto a shuttle and bringing you back to Dantooine. Once there, a team of Republic medical droids- supervised by myself and a handful of trustworthy Jedi- were able to heal you."
"Interesting..." Revan lied, "tell me, my face, arm and... oof, half my torso too! Yeah, what's going on with those?" She was trying very hard to suppress the incandescent that was bubbling just below her skin, and in her weakened state it was fast becoming a losing battle.
"The damage you sustained during Malak's attack," Revan felt her anger flare for a moment, but she brought it back under control, "was... extensive. To tell the truth, neither myself nor any of the Masters expected you to survive."
"Dark side. Unnatural abilities."
"Quite. Anyway, you had lost your left arm and most of your face, as well as suffering an almost complete collapse of your ribcage. On top of this, upwards of 70% of your skin suffered from extreme burns. All of this meant constant submersion in a kolto tank, as well as the installation of high-grade prosthetics. Both your left arm and left... face are currently being cleaned after you bled on them... quite profusely."
"Huh," Revan could remember being in blinding, agonising pain, but the true scope of it hadn't even occurred to her until just now. Malak, I'll gut him for this! "So, why are you doing this? If I were you I would've slit the big scary Sith's throat open while she was incapacitated."
Before Bastila could even respond, Revan continued, "Ah I get it! You, being such a brown-nosing Jedi, didn't want to 'stoop to my level' by killing an unarmed combatant, even if that individual just so happens to be a Dark Lord of the Sith. Something about 'doing the right thing', right?"
The Jedi's silence told Revan everything she needed to know. Pretentious bunch of short-sighted fools, they never change.
"So, what are you going to do with me? After putting so much into patching me up, I doubt you're just gonna put a blaster round into my forehead, right?" Silence. "That'll be a no then- lemme guess, it's 'not the Jedi way', right? Whatever. Anyway, so you're not gonna kill me, so I have to assume that you're keeping me alive as a bargaining chip, right? Offer me back to my adoring followers in exchange for a ceasefire or something. Well, I can tell you now that that's not gonna work."
"How long have I been out? One week, two weeks perhaps?"
"Better part of two months."
"Wow, really? Well, that just makes me even more certain in my prediction. Y'see, by now my good-for-nothing apprentice and serial backstabber Malak will have assumed control of my forces. So offering me to him- especially in this state- will only result in a dead Revan and an even more cocky Malak. Do you follow me?"
"Right. So, here's my suggestion. You let me out of this facility right now. Give me back my lightsabe- I know they're in this room, don't act so surprised. I can feel the crystals. Anyway, give me back my lightsabers and I will personally carve a bloody path through Malak's forces, and won't stop until he's dead."
"And then what?"
"Hmmm. As a gesture of good will I'd be willing to negotiate of course. I'd really rather not burn the Republic to the ground, unlike a certain bald-headed giant who's running around unsupervised."
"Look, just to sweeten the deal a bit, how about this. I know your Jedi buddies have been listening in, so let them hear this- if you let me go, I will work with the Republic to destroy Malak. That's my promise. It'll be the Mandalorian Wars 2.0, it'd be..." A lazy smile spread across Revan's face at the thought of it, "magnificent."
A few moments passed before Bastila responded. "Thank you, Revan, you've given everyone a lot to think about." And with that she turned on her heel and began walking back towards the entrance.
"No problem. Oh, and one more thing?"
Footfalls stop, "Go on."
"Completely off the record... you have my thanks." Revan rolled her eye at the embarrassment she could feel rolling off of Bastila, "Like it or not, you've given me a chance at revenge. Oh, and another thing?"
"My offer from the bridge still stands. You ever feel like a bit of trainin-" the sound of the door sliding open filled the room, "not just scary Dark side stuff! You fought fairly well back there, but you're still sloppy. I could give you a few pointers?"
Silence. Just as Revan resigned herself back to sleep, Bastila's face appeared in her vision, "I appreciate the offer, Revan." And with that, she walked out of the room, closing the door shut behind her. The sounds of one, two then three locks sliding into place echoed through the room, and Revan was left in silence.
"It didn't work! What do we do now?"
"If it didn't work the first time, I doubt it'll work again. Attempting to force it would break her mind completely."
"So? She's Darth Revan, what does it matter?"
"You forget yourself Master Vrook..."
"Okay... fine. Still, what do we do?"
"Contact Republic High Command. We may have a proposition for them."
"Urbisa, you're crazy! What is this canon-divergent crazyness?"
Just go with it. I'm just writing for fun, y'know, so I have absolutely no idea where any of this is gonna go. So just sit back and enjoy the slowest ride imaginable as I post a new chapter every few months!
Chapter 3: A Proposition
HAH! Y'ALL THOUGHT THIS FIC WAS DEAD! Y'ALL THOUGHT!
Hey, at least it took me less than a year! Only... *checks notes* 11 months and 3 weeks!
Revan didn’t deal well with confined spaces. Her old masters would laugh and joke amongst themselves at the unbridled energy of their young charge; oh how funny it was how she paced back and forth, never staying still as she absorbed holopad after holopad of information. One of her masters had even gone so far as to suggest restraining her to a chair, jokingly predicting that Revan would be more than capable of moving the whole galaxy if she only sat still.
“Joke’s on them,” Revan thought to herself, “I moved the galaxy anyway.”
The Sith felt that same restlessness seeping back into her mind- she had been stuck in this trim and tidy Republic medbay for what felt like an eternity, rotations blending into one another under the nauseating glow of the surgical lights. By now, the pain of her injuries had faded to only a dull throbbing, regular visits to the kolto tanks doing much to heal her grievous injuries.
Revan had been sitting in a sterile white bed for days, rarely moving so as to not flare up her wounds. She had stolen a holopad containing her full medical record some days prior, and even after reading it over a hundred times she was still struggling to come to terms with her injuries. Down one leg, one arm, most of her torso, face and the majority of her skin, and for what? Glory chasing a handful more Jedi kills in some backwater system. It would almost be funny if it weren’t so painful.
A shrill tone rang out from the entranceway to the room, sharp and painful to Revan’s remaining ear. As the noise subsided, a familiar voice rang out.
“Patient R? I am about to enter, please remain clear of the door.”
“Bastila my dear, how nice of you to join me,” Revan responded dryly, casting a baleful eye over the young padawan as she entered the room, “I was just thinking about you.”
The Jedi rolled her eyes, arms locked firmly behind her back- still believing that Revan couldn’t sense the metal clasped in her shaking hands, no doubt in case the Sith got too rowdy. “Oh really? I’m sure that whatever you’re about to say will be the height of hilarity, and not at all offensive to myself or the Jedi Order.”
“Not at all! I was just wondering if you could pass on a message for me?”
“A message? To whom?”
Revan paused for a moment, flashing a wry smirk that the Jedi was becoming increasingly used to seeing. “Who’s in charge of this place?”
Bastila hesitated, taking a second to compose herself before answering. “That’s sensitive information, I’m afraid I cannot-”
“Well could you ask them very nicely to let me out?” Revan seethed, the anger she had been containing for days beginning to boil over.
“Oh my dear Bastila, please don’t make any more excuses,” the recumbent Sith smiled, her ruined face contorting into a ghastly sneer, “I’ve been strapped to this table for longer than I care to imagine, and I’m beginning to get a little cranky, y’know?”
“I mean, even the SIth aren’t this bad! If we’re going to execute someone, we do it quickly, none of this waiting nonsense.”
“Revan please li-”
“No, you listen!” Revan roared, her devastated vocal chords finally giving way to the immense volume of her shout. “I’ve been stuck in this Force-forsaken room for far longer than you have any right to keep me here! If you and your spineless Jedi masters are going to keep me here as some kind of a pet, then at least let me get off of this bleeding table!”
“Revan!” The ferocity in the padawan’s voice took Revan aback, as if some long buried seal had just been broken. “Please, you are requested to attend a joint meeting of Republic High Command and the Jedi Council. I have been sent to help you with your new prosthetics.” With those final words, Bastila brought her hands out from behind her back, revealing a heavy-looking case.
Silence fell between the two. Bastila’s knuckles had turned white, gripping the case with a panicked look on her face. Revan’s eye flashed from case to Bastila, mouth flapping wordlessly as she struggled to compute what she was hearing.
Finally, the Sith broke the silence. “They’ve accepted my offer?”
Bastila didn’t respond, merely shrugging as she placed the case at the foot of Revan’s bed.
“Crazy bastards, I guess Malak’s really been doing a number on them if they’re this desperate.” Revan chuckled slightly to herself, a horrible raspy noise echoing across the room as miserable looking chunks of torn flesh fell from her mouth.
“I cannot say. Reports from the fleets have been dire to say the least.” Bastila’s dexterous fingers entered a code into a number pad on the top of the smooth metal case, dancing across the interface with careful precision as Revan looked on.
“Well, if I’m going to a war meeting, perhaps it would be helpful for me to read over some of these reports?”
The Jedi raised an eyebrow slightly as she glanced over at the prone Sith. “Seems rather superfluous, given that you’ll probably be briefed at the meeting anyway.” The case opened with a loud click, cool vapours seeping from the opened box like water overflowing from a cup.
“First rule of negotiations, go in prepared. If I go in with some knowledge already, I can catch them off guard.”
“I am surprised that a Sith knows anything about negotiating whatsoever,” a hint of resentment tinged those words, but Revan let it pass without comment, “now, I’m going to begin affixing your prosthetics. Would you like me to anaesthetise the area, or are you going to be just as stubborn as last time?”
Revan gave a laboured laugh, remembering the last time a medical droid had tried to affix her new limbs. “Not my fault your droids are so squishy.”
“If I recall correctly, you crushed it into dust.” Bastila frowned, casting a disapproving eye over the older woman, “one can hardly claim that such an action was an accident.”
“Whatever, it worked out in the end, now I get a Jedi caretaker instead!” Revan paused a moment, letting her single eye wander over the inattentive Bastila’s form as a smile curled across her lips, “Doesn’t hurt that she’s easy on the eyes....”
“Pardon?” Bastila said, her focus still firmly on the assorted holopads and prosthetic arrayed in front of her.
“Just muttering to myself dear, no need to worry yourself,” the Sith snickered as she leaned back into the soft cloth of her medical cot. “Let’s just get this over with…”
“Indeed, now hold still…”
Vrook was getting too old for this. When he became a Jedi Master all those years ago, he had resigned himself to a long, sedentary life of study and teaching. Indeed, his passion has always been passing on the age-old knowledge of the Jedi Order to their newest members, hoping that one day he will be remembered as a wise and sagely Jedi.
But as he looked around at the haggard looking Republic commanders, admirals and weary Jedi, he struggled to picture any possibility of his hopes coming to fruition.
“Master Vrook,” the diminutive figure of Master Vandar approached, weaving through the amassed crowd, “has young Bastila confirmed whether or not our.... special guest will be joining us?”
“She sent a transmission only a few moments ago warning of their imminent arrival,” Vrook paused, taking the opportunity to dab at the pooling sweat on his brow. “Master Vandar, with all due respect are you sure this is wise?”
“Without risks, no victory can be achieved against the encroaching darkness.” Vandar responded, stroking his chin with a gnarled, clawed hand.
“Even so, she is not to be trusted. Once a traitor, always a-”
“Master Vrook, do you believe redemption is possible? That a flame once snuffed out can be reignited?” Vandar stared up at his old friend, their eyes meeting for a moment.
A moment passed, a pregnant pause hanging in the air. Did he believe in such a thing? Maybe once, before the Mandalorian Wars, but that was a long time ago. So much had changed since then, so many old friends cast down by the Fallen. Was redemption still possible for even the most heinous of criminals?
Before Vrook could even respond, a crash could be heard from outside the Council chambers. The room fell silent, all conversation grinding to a halt as hands reached for blasters and lightsabers alike. Another crash, this one louder, followed by the approaching sound of yelling.
“- panic! She may look angry but I swear she’s not, don’t panic!”
Another crash, followed by a yelp. Outside the Council chamber, the lithe form of a Cathar padawan skittered past the doorway, a shower of debris following her as another crash filled the halls. A few of the more skittish Jedi ignited their lightsabers, assuming defensive stances as this unknown behemoth drew closer.
“Hold position, Jedi!” Vandar shouted, his voice barely discernible over the crashing of metal and the hum of lightsabers.
With an almighty bang, a plume of dust and debris filled the doorway, forming an opaque, swirling cloud of detritus and ash. From the cloud, the familiar figure of Bastila Shan sprinted forwards waving her hands wildly.
“Everybody please stand down! I assure you that the situation is under control, no need to worry!” Her usually pristinely kept hair was wild and unkempt, a sprinkling of dust coating her robes as the young Padawan approached Vrook and Vandar. “Masters, I did as you asked. However, I fear she may be a little… distressed.”
“Distressed?” Vrook blubbered, “Padawan Shan, why in the Force did you release her if she was in any way emotionally unstable?”
“I apologise Master,” Bastila bowed, “but she was very eager to attend this meeting.”
“Awfully sorry to interrupt,” a Rodian general approached, hesitating to focus his drawn blaster at the billowing cloud of smoke before continuing in impeccable Basic, “but would you mind explaining what’s going on?”
“All in good time General Ulaan, all in good time,” Vandar responded, a wise smile on his face as he began making his way over to the doorway. With an exasperated sigh, Vrook followed, hand on his lightsaber as he approached the plume.
Just as the two Jedi reached the edges of the dust cloud, they felt a slight tremor in the Force, emanating from within. Before either of them could react, the cloud dispersed, revealing the figure within.
Standing at just a shade over six feet tall, Revan was an imposing figure. A shock of white hair tumbled across her face, sharp features mingling with jagged scars across her burned skin. The right hand side of her face was almost completely obscured underneath a dark sheet of sculpted metal, her single remaining eye staring balefully out from her ruined face, glowing yellow with barely contained hatred. The Sith wore simple black robes, the kind she had always preferred during her days with the Jedi, although alterations had been made for the sleek black prosthetics that now adorned the right hand side of her body.
“Hello Republic! How are we all doing today?” Revan strutted forwards, arms spread wide in mock welcome as a slightly synthesised voice spoke with a lilting tone. “By the Force, you all look a little worse for wear, has Malak really been doing that well against you?”
A pregnant silence was the only response, as Jedi and Republic officers alike looked on in mute horror at the spectacle unfolding before them. Unconcerned, Revan continued, “Well, it’s truly wonderful to see you all still out here, fighting the good fight. Really doing good work, I’m very proud.” Revan paused again, staring into the crowd of terrified onlookers for what seemed like an eternity. Slowly, a crooked sneer began to spread across her face, curling into a smile not entirely dissimilar to that of a krayt dragon who’s spotted their next meal. Her yellow eye scanned over the crowd, flitting from face to face with unerring precision.
Finally, a monstrous cackle erupted from Revan, causing a handful of startled onlookers to take a few steps away. “Master Tywin, is that you? By the Force, I thought you were dead!” The Sith barged through the crowd, grabbing an elderly Jedi by the sleeves of his robe and dragging him to the front of the crowd. “Wow, this is crazy, I could have sworn I gutted you back on Qevrona 5!”
“R-Revan?” That name sent panicked muttering through the crowd, as Master Tywin stared up at the Sith’s ruined face in disbelief.
“In fact,” ignoring him, Revan reached out her metal arm, wrapping its strong metal talons around the man’s neck, “why not finish the job here?” Her yellow eye flared as her expression of lax confidence melted away, only to be replaced by a glare of indescribable fury. “Would you like that Vandar? After all, the Jedi must be fine with this kind of behaviour nowadays if your treatment of me is anything to go by!” As Revan’s words crescendoed into a raspy procession of half-shouted words, Tywin’s feet left the floor, his hands desperately clawing at Revan’s arm as he choked and spluttered.
It was Vrook who spoke up first, lightsaber igniting as he advanced on the Sith Lord, “If you value your continued existence, you will let Master Tywin go.”
“‘If you value your continued existence’? By the Force, what happened to you all?” With a wry chuckle, Revan threw Tywin a few feet away, smiling as he landed with a heavy thud. “Come on Vrook, I think we both know who would win between the two of us. In fact,” she looked around the room, eye narrowing as her lips moved wordlessly, “I doubt all of you could take me down if you worked together.”
“But then you would have no way to get revenge against your apprentice,” Vandar interrupted, approaching Revan completely unarmed.
Revan’s head shifted down to look at the diminutive Jedi, her arms crossed as she seemed to consider her options. After a few moments, the woman shrugged, her disposition shifting back to her usual cocky demeanour with nary a hint of her prior outburst, “True enough. I take it you’ve all agreed to my offer?”
The rumble of quiet conversation spread out across the gathered crowd, generals and Jedi alike sharing looks of confusion and alarm at this new development; had the Jedi Masters really struck a deal with the dead Revan?
“On the contrary, we have an offer to present to you,” Vrook responded, deactivating his lightsaber with shaking hands. “In this room are some of the greatest military minds of the Republic, all gathered here for one reason; to speak to you. Judging by reports from your last engagement, as well as recent intelligence on Sith operations, would it be accurate to say that the current Sith situation is… unsteady?”
Revan cast an eye over the panicked officers who stood before her. “Without me the Sith would splinter, meaning they’re weaker than ever,” she snickered, a horrible grating sound which made Vrook wince, “if the ‘greatest military minds of the Republic’ are still having trouble with Malak’s motley crew, then perhaps they need to reassess their worthiness for such a prestigious position.”
“We’ve summoned you here today to present you with two options, though I must admit I am strongly opposed to offering you anything at all,” Vrook continued through gritted teeth, paying little mind to Revan’s sharp words. “Republic forces are stretched thin, as are the Jedi. What we need is a purpose, something to unite our disparate forces behind and secure the future of the Republic.”
“So what, you want me to lead your armies?” Incredulous, Revan couldn’t help but laugh, “oh Force, this is so pathetic I think my heart may simple cease functioning… actually, do I still have a heart?” She glanced behind her, her eye locking onto Bastila. The padawan rolled her eyes before nodding her head. “Ah, that’s good news. I still have enough heart left to have a heart attack from all the ‘pathetic’ around me. Absolutely stellar…”
“Revan, please focus, this is important.” Vandar chided, his voice echoing all the times he had said those exact words to a younger Revan. “Do you really wish to see the Republic torn to shreds by Malak and his dogs? Is that truly what you want- for everything you fought for in the Mandalorian Wars to be destroyed? I know… I knew you once, and I do not believe for a second that you would be so dim-witted as to believe that the end of the Republic is the right course of action.”
Revan didn’t respond immediately, her eye locked with Vandar’s gaze as silence draped its heavy presence over the war council. Instead, she paused a moment, rapping her fingers on her forearm in thoughtful meditation. Eventually however, she shifted slightly, and for a moment Vrook could have sworn he saw a hint of that young Jedi Knight again, reflected for but a moment in the confident stance of the Sith Lord.
“You always were very insightful Vandar, I’ll give you that much credit,” Revan began pacing down the length of the chamber, arms clasped firmly behind her back as she moved her legs with military precision. “No, the destruction of the Republic was never my goal, not truly. I meant only to seize control of it, to use its prodigious might for the greater good…”
“The ‘greater good’? Surely no good could be worth the wholesale slaughter of so many!”
“Vice-Admiral Bakyr? Nice to see you again, how are the kids?” Revan said drily, the corners of her mouth twisting into a momentary smile before melting back into a concentrated scowl. “It’s simple really- after the destruction of Malachor V and the end of the Mandalorian Wars, I discovered that there was an even greater threat beyond. Deep within the Unknown Regions, on the planet Dromund Kaas, we found a civilisation- a great and terrible Sith Empire, reforged from the remnants of the Sith of old,” Revan’s already pale skin seemed to have taken on an even sicklier pallour, her one remaining eye glazed over as she continued in an uncharacteristically subdued tone. “It was then that I finally understood the true danger that the Republic was in, the enormity of the forces arrayed against everything I had thought for.” Revan shrugged, “I was scared; absolutely terrified. Had any of you been in my position, you would have done the same.”
“So what did I do?” she continued, ignoring the shocked silence that had swept across the crowd, “In the years before the Mandalorian Wars, Malak and I had learned about a Rakatan super factory called the Star Forge- some kind of Force-powered foundry. I would have gone after it at the time, but… y’know, a war happened, so I had to throw a few things on the backburner. So, I see this massive Sith Empire, and I think ‘if the Republic is going to weather this oncoming storm, they’re going to need a complete overhaul of every inch of their system’. So naturally, I take the remnants of my crusade over to this Star Forge, boot it up, and start creating an army of my own.” A slight smile wormed its way across Revan’s features as her eye glistened with the hint of nostalgia, “Malak and I had a good old time getting the old girl to start up again- of course, his way of helping wasn’t all that… well, helpful. Probably should’ve seen his brute force handling of those systems as a bad omen of things to come, but…”
“By the Force!” Bastila interrupted, her usual calm fracturing as Revan’s inane rambling continued on and on. For the duration of this exchange, she had been standing uncomfortably in the corner of the room, one hand on her lightsaber as she kept a watchful eye on the Sith.
She had barely begun her tenure as a Padawan when Revan and Malak had joined the Mandalorian Wars, far too young to truly understand the magnitude of what was happening around her. She had vague memories of the fire and brimstone speech that Revan had giving on that day, the passion and raw emotion that the woman had expressed whilst surrounded by the comparatively emotionless Jedi. It had left an impression on the young Bastila, and for many years after that moment- as news from the frontlines of the war slowly tricked into the Jedi Enclave- Bastila often found herself idly wondering about the fiery woman she had seen on that day. To see her- this twisted reflection of her , so many years later… it was surreal, to say the least.
“Padawan Shan?” Revan queried, her one visible eyebrow cocked in mocking curiosity, “Is there a reason for this interruption, or did you only wish for silence whilst you stared at me?”
Flustered, Bastila responded quickly, “You’re getting off track Revan. Could you please skip to the bit you were telling me on the way up here?”
Revan paused again, casting her eye over Bastila again. A slight smirk pulled at the corner of her mouth, before fading back into her usual scowl. “Indeed, the important bit. I never wished to destroy the Republic, only to reorganise and reshape it into a shape that will be able to weather the Sith Empire’s inevitable onslaught. However, Malak has become consumed by hatred for the Republic, and is instead far more interested in the wholesale destruction of every planet he can get his greasy hands on.”
“You have both turned to the Dark Side- this is all simply a trick!” Master Tywin had finally managed to pull himself up from the ground, one weathered old hand grasping at his reddened throat as the other one was pointed accusingly at Revan.
“Oh Master Tywin, always so stuck in your ways,” Revan tutted, shaking her head in faux disappointment as she began to slowly meander towards the elderly master. “I have read every sacred text within the entire Jedi Archives, poured over each one for nights on end, absorbing every shred of knowledge I could get my hands on. I knew full well what the Jedi had to say about the Dark Side, yet I still embraced it when the time came. And look at me now! Still as sane as ever, though perhaps not quite as… put together as I once was?” The Sith gestured towards her prosthetics, a throaty chuckle bubbling up from her chest before being consumed by a coughing fit.
“So what was I saying anyway? Ah yes… you’re right Master Vandar: I don’t want to watch the Republic burn down; I don’t want to see Malak claim rulership over the galaxy; I don’t want to see everything I fought so hard to preserve be torn down by someone as brutish and uncaring as Malak. But does this mean that I am willing to throw my lot in with the Jedi and the Republic again?” She paused as she shifted from one foot to another, a wince of slight pain flickering across her face as she did so.
“Revan?” Vrook asked, lightsaber hand fidgeting as he waited in anticipation.
The Sith remained silent, a look of intense concentration on her face as she stared off into the middle distance.
“Revan?” Vandar’s croaky voice echoed out, the small master beginning to feel a pit of anticipation forming within him
The Sith remained silent.
“Revan?” Bastila half-whispered as she took a step towards the woman, a mixture of fear and apprehension painted across her face.
The Sith turned slowly, her one vivid yellow eye locking with Bastila’s as a raspy sigh left the older woman’s lips. “There would be conditions…”
An audible sigh of relief swept across the gathered war council, a few lightsabers even shutting off as the tense atmosphere began to dissipate. However, Vrook and Vandar remained unphased.
“What conditions?” Vrook responded, one eyebrow raised as he took a tentative step towards Revan. She remained focused on Bastila however, her steely gaze remaining unbroken as she responded to the Jedi’s question.
“Only a few, nothing too major: my own flagship, crewed exclusively by veterans of the Mandalorian Wars- I’ve seen your crews nowadays, and they’re sloppy. I’ll also need access to every shred of Republic military information you have, and bearing in mind our present company,” Revan flashed a glance over at the gather Republic military officers, “that shouldn’t be too difficult.”
“I’m sure that can all be arranged with no iss-”
“Ooh, and one more small, teeny tiny little thing. A trifle really, compared to everything else.”
“Whatever it is Revan, I’m sure it will be of no concern…” Vandar reassured, a slight smile on his face as he felt a sense of ease wash over him.
“I need a new apprentice, and I think Padawan Bastila Shan will do nicely…”